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Brief Tafseer (Interpretation) of Soorah Faatihah (part 1)

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    Brief Tafseer (Interpretation) of Soorah Faatihah (part 1)

    Bismillaah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem

    Soorah Faatihah, the opening chapter, is unquestionably one of the most profound verses of the Qur’aan and certainly a verse to reflect upon.

    Not just for each and every Muslim, but also for those who follow other beliefs and doctrines, this short but comprehensive chapter contains answers for those who wish to recognize their Creator and determine the purpose of their very own existence.

    For the Muslim, it is of paramount importance that he/she understands the message of this Great Chapter, as it is recited by every Muslim no less than 17 times a day. However, I strongly urge both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to take time and ponder over what is to follow, as the Religion of Islaam was not sent to a certain nation or a people, but to the whole of mankind.

    The following interpretation of Soorah Faatihah has been based on many sources including ibn Katheer and Qurtabi etc, through the understanding of the Pious Predecessors, namely the Companions of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and those who followed them in righteousness.

    I shall Insha’Allaah post this brief tafseer of ‘The Opening’ chapter in several parts, as not to over burden anyone in any way, and thus allow us all the opportunity to contemplate and ponder over this magnificent verse.

    Please forgive me for any typing and grammatical errors that you may encounter, for verily this is from my own weakness and lack of ability, and all that is good is from Allaah. And I ask Him – the Almighty - to forgive me for my shortcomings and rectify my mistakes.

    Introduction (part 1)

    All praise is for Allaah. We praise Him and seek His assistance. We ask for His forgiveness and take refuge in Him from the evils of our souls ans our evil actions. Whosoever Allaah guides then non can misguide, and whosoever Allaah leaves astray, non can guide alright. I bear witness that non has the right to be worshiped except Allaah alone, having no partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is His servant and final Messenger.

    As many of you are aware, ‘The Opening’ chapter (Soorah Faatihah) of the Qur’aan translates as follows:

    “[1] In the name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [2] All Praise is [due] to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds. [3] The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [4] Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. [5] It is You we worship and You we ask for help. [6] Guide us to the Straight Path – [7] The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.”

    These opening seven verses are in actual fact a summary of the whole Qur’aan, and can be divided into 3 sections:

    Verses 1-4: explain the Oneness of Allaah – ithmaat–ul Ma’rifah (confirm and assure recognition) through Tawheed ar-Roobobiya and Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat.

    Verse 5: describes the action that is required from this confirmation and recognition, in the form of Tawheed al-Aloohiya (i.e. singling out Allaah in worship).

    Verses 6-7: explains seeking guidance by specifying the path (i.e. the Path of those who were granted guidance from the earlier generations).

    It is these 3 phenomenon which clearly highlight the importance of Allaah and our reliance upon Him to grant us victory in this world and the Hereafter. And by ‘victory’ here, we do not mean in a game or a battle, but rather, to be victorious is to be successful in life, by fulfilling the purpose of our creation. By ‘victory’ we mean conquering our own whims and desires born from the attractions and pleasures of this material world, and in-turn obtain that sense of tranquillity and inner-peace by understanding and comprehending our very own existence and its reasons, and draw closer to the Almighty.

    "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."